Stacey Alickman’s paintings are all about the paint and the paint is alive. It is emphatic; it exceeds the boundary of its support. In fact there is a painting in the exhibit which has literally been shattered by design and has shed its frame. The paintings are filled with gesture; the paint swoops and flourishes, shimmies and shakes. It asserts itself. It announces itself with bravado. Each piece is a complete world; collectively the paintings create a universe, a universe that is emphatically hopeful, one filled with motion and connection. The artist invites the viewer to share in this exuberance and these worlds. She holds up a mirror and lets us in the door.
Stacey Alickman: Humpty Dumpty runs through December 28. Don’t miss this exhibit!
Image: Stacey Alickman, Lost Year, Oil on canvas. 48 x 42 inches, 2014.
Ilona Anderson has work in Pipe Dreams, Wishful Thinking, Grand Gestures & Dirty Lies at ASC project space, 526 West 26th Street, Room 304, New York, NY through July 15. Ilona also has work in the group exhibition As | Orchard opening July 31, Lower East Side, NY.
Kathleen Gerdon Archer and Barbara Moody were named Co-directors of Kingston Gallery for 2014. Kathleen Gerdon Archer and Conny Goelz-Schmitt both had work in the group exhibition Synchronicity at the Associazione Culturale Rosa Venerini (ACRV) in Viterbo, Italy from June 27 – July 6. They spent the month of June at the Associazione Culturale Rosa Venerini (ACRV) Residency Program.
Barbara Moody taught a new studio intensive course entitled Expressive Interpretations of the Landscape, at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA in both January and July. She exhibited her photo-collages March 17 – May 7 in a three-person exhibition at the Albright Gallery, in Concord, MA. And she and Ann Wessman both have work in Dreaming Gardens at Suffolk University Gallery, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA, which runs June 10 – August 22, curated by Deborah Davidson.
Jennifer Moses showed her work in a group exhibition of 12×12 paintings at the Oxbow Gallery in North Hampton, MA, December 5, 2013 – January 5, 2014. She has work in the summer long exhibit Surface, Strokes and Light, a group exhibition of of contemporary painters and sculptors at Kelly Roy Gallery. Broadsided Press is displaying a collaboration between Moses and poet Annie Finch on the Cape Cod Public Bus Transit through September. Jennifer is also an artist in residence at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY for the month of July.
Rose Olson will be featured at Hutson Gallery, 432 Commercial Street in Provincetown, July 25 – August 7. She also has work in Danforth Art Museum’sCommunity of Artists Annual Juried Exhibition, which runs June 8 – August 3.
Lynda Schlosberg had a solo exhibition Field of Potentiality in the Spencer Presentation Gallery at the Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts, Endicott College, Beverly, MA, January 28 – March 20. She was the featured gallery artist at Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland, ME for the month of March. And her work was included in Painting Intricacies, curated by Resa Blatman at Nave Annex Gallery in Somerville, MA, April 18.
Luanne E Witkowski’s mixed media works were included in a group exhibition in the President’s Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, December 9, 2013 – January 23, 2014.
In Boston, the new year begins not in January but in September. This is especially true in the art world, where September shows are eagerly awaited and fresh work arrives in the galleries to inspire, perplex, challenge or bore us unspeakably for another season.
Kingston Gallery is part of this ritual of renewal with its annual members’ show, Gifted. Visitors to the gallery this September have noted the inclusion of work by a group of artists who are new to the Kingston stable: Stacey Alickman, Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Mira Cantor, Julie Graham, and Lynda Schlosberg. I found that in the Gifted show, the work of these new artists has added an enhanced richness of color and texture to our visual mix.
The work of these artists is diverse and vividly realized, exhibiting a wide variety of conceptual perspectives and technical practices. What unites them is their commitment to the ongoing development of their creative vision. Their work will have a significant impact on the intellectual environment of the gallery, and we’ve selected them specifically to participate in ongoing dialogue with us.
I’ve asked each of them to respond to a few questions in pursuit of this theme as a way of introducing them and placing their work in context.Their responses are intriguing, and we’re looking forward to seeing their ideas take shape in the upcoming shows of their work we’ll be presenting at Kingston.
Linda Leslie Brown (LLB): What is your take on being a new member of Kingston Gallery? How do you think your work fits into the mix?
Mira Cantor: I am delighted to be in Kingston Gallery as a NEW member. I believe it is a good fit as I am sitting here in the gallery looking at all the members’ work.The show was curated well and I think we are all fortunate to have Deborah Davidson with us handling the PR. It’s been a long time since Genovese Sullivan closed and I feel connected again to the street. Thanks for inviting me. Some of the members are old acquaintances and friends; others I hope to get to know. It’s exciting to be part of the group and look forward to seeing all the interesting work.
Julie Graham: I’m honored to be a new member of Kingston Gallery. I’ll show in the members’ gallery in March 2014 where I’ll install a new project that combines multiple elements of my interdisciplinary practice. I’m not yet sure what form it will take, but I will explore some ideas that have been percolating for some time. I’m happy for the opportunity.
Kathleen Gerdon Archer: For me Kingston Gallery has always been at the top of the list of galleries which show exciting, inspiring and thoughtful work. This gallery is less motivated by commercial success than it is by freedom and experimentation. I feel my work will be pushed in new directions as a result of frequent interactions and conversations with the other artist members.
LLB: What’s happening in your studio these days? Are you beginning a new direction or expanding on some ideas that have been in development for some time? What are you most excited about in your work today?
Stacey Alickman: I’m most excited to be exploring more nuanced kinds of texture. Not just impasto and ridges but also something that is the perception of texture rather than just texture itself. I am finding new inspiration in current work by sanding down the paint in order to build up lines again while allowing for previous layers to come through.
I’m also still developing paintings for the purpose of “breaking” in order to get the paint off its canvas. Once the paint is free of its ground, I can use these chips, front and back, for future compositions. I am thinking about using these chips for a large wall installation at Kingston in 2014.
Lynda Schlosberg: I am currently expanding on ideas that have been in development for quite some time. My focus in the studio now is on finding ways to expand on my mark making and new ways of combining and layering the marks to achieve a certain level of visual density and complexity that is characteristic of my work.
While visiting the Danforth Museum’s “Off the Wall” exhibit this summer, I saw several artists with grid and network references in their work. I was already being drawn towards the idea of the grid and began wondering how I might go about introducing something similar into my work. Historically my marks have consisted of interwoven layers of repeating patterns of dots and dashes signifying a sea of vibrating particles of energy, yet I have been becoming more curious with the underlying system that connects all of this vibrating energy together which has led me to the notion of the grid. The grid I envision however is not a rigid system; it is fluid and pervasive, it is an optimum state between chaos and order.
My investigation with the grid is still in its infancy. I have started by working with cheesecloth, soaking it in paint and imprinting it onto the surface. The cheesecloth begins with a uniform structure, but quickly changes form as soon as I apply paint to it and reshape it before pressing it onto the panel. I am going back in and painting over the intricate mesh with different layers of color, breaking up the grid while maintaining part of its original structure. I have yet to finish the first piece using this new technique, so the jury is still out if it will be successful or not, but I’m excited to be working with these new marks.
Mira Cantor: My new work will be shown in the December slot.The landscapes are in a state of demise due to the variation in the viscosity of paint, which metaphorically references global warming.The show will be called MELTWATER.
The new work is derived from two recent experiences. I was an artist in residency in May in Banff, Canada and I spent the month of July teaching at the Burren College of Art on the west coast of Ireland. Both were total immersion of me in the landscape looking at nature very close up and with great vistas. I had also been in Banff in 2010. Immersion into the landscape seems to inspire and motivate my desire to paint. I started using oil paint again in 2010 which I stopped using in graduate school. Oil felt like I was more in touch with natural elements instead of the plastic quality of acrylic. It also enables me to do things with oil, turp and varnish that I cannot accomplish with acrylic. I do wear a mask when I paint which I do not need with acrylic. I think my work has become more quirky and fluid since my last series. I don’t know if that has to do with the material change or age.
Kathleen Gerdon Archer: I am at the beginning of a new body of work that takes a different form but is consistent with themes I often explore. As before, I will use a series to tell a story with literary references. The work has been haunting me for three years and has finally developed into a whole. I can’t wait to show it.
LLB: How do you go about developing new work? Do you have a process of experimentation, inspiration, and change? How do you know when the work needs to take off in a new direction?
Stacey Alickman: In the past couple of years, I’ve been layering oil paint over extended periods of time, often putting it on then taking it off. At some point, the physical aspects of the paint assert itself and I am no longer controlling the outcome. The paint wills itself into a composition that is not of my ideas but something hopefully more transcendent. Lately, I’m more open to the possibility of not knowing what the work is about. A painting I can live with is one that results in an end that couldn’t have gone any other way.
Julie Graham: I’m interested in unexpected and unplanned collisions of ideas, forms, color and architecture — things and places that are normally overlooked, and things that don’t really seem to belong. I consider myself a painter, but I also make 3D pieces (I’m not sure if they are sculpted paintings or painted sculptures) and photographs.The processes of construction are similar throughout, as I build layer upon layer to mirror the way I see the world around me.
Lynda Schlosberg: The desire to expand on my mark making vocabulary and layering is twofold. One is of a semi-practical nature; since my work is very time consuming to produce I’m always looking for new ways to achieve the same visual intricacy with less. The second is on expanding the personal dialogue I am having with quantum theories, and the introduction of new marks and techniques is fueled heavily by what I read on the subject.
Right now I’m in the middle of reading “The Field” by Lynne McTaggart, which has introduced me to the ‘Zero Point Field.’ To oversimplify: there are lingering fluctuations in the Universe’s sub atomic energy field even at temperatures of absolute zero—which is where everything should be completely void of any motion. This ceaseless energy implies that nothing ever really dies completely, that all things that ever existed still exist, and that they are intricately and forever connected through The Field. It is this ‘connection-of-all-things’ that intrigues me, and the idea of an energetic grid that is the mechanism holding it all together.
Kathleen Gerdon Archer: By constantly taking photographs I eventually understand what it is I am interested in seeing. A pattern of like images develop, and once recognized, can be expanded upon. The images reflect what I have been feeling even if I am not aware of that as I am shooting. The years it takes can be frustrating but the stories eventually develop and become clearer to me as I write my statement, a critical component of the work.
Two gallery artists share their experience at the recently-ended exhibition Barry McGee at the ICA in Boston:
Stacey Alickman writes: “Barry McGee is a master draughtsman from the world of graffiti art. The vast quantities of doleful faces and engaging typography become a pleasant assault on the retinas. His impulse to fill space, all space, feels urgent yet organized. The work relates to so many artists whose work I appreciate — from Mad Magazine’s Sergio to the many artists of underground comics, to the paintings of Jim Nutt, to the outsider art of Jean Dubuffet and Adolf Wolfli.
McGee elevates his work through beautifully composed arrangements that feel both spiritual and transcendent. There are cluster installations that are made of framed, fairly small drawings. One is required to come close to the work and experience each micro-element. The drawings of people and creatures are funny and sentimental, random and appealing. But it is also necessary to step back and examine the cluster as a whole. This is like being at a party filled with people, only to step away in order to observe the crowd.
The piece that I was most taken by was the one I thought about days after seeing the exhibit. It was a shed that contained the artist’s own images and those of his late wife, Margaret Kilgallen. Peering into this shed, an ersatz home, is an intimate and bittersweet experience. Their domestic life had been intertwined with the making of art and the shed secures this legacy.”
As a painter, I was excited to attend “Abstraction and Memory,” the final portion of the two-day seminar Painting Beyond Itself: The Medium in the Post-Medium Condition at The Sackler Museum in Cambridge, April 12–13. Moderated by Mark Godfrey of the Tate Modern, London, it unfolded in three parts presented by Benjamin Buchloh, art historian, Harvard University; Briony Fer, Professor of History of Art, University College London; and New York artist Julie Mehretu. I was seeking inspiration and guidance into abstraction and memory and not surprisingly, the artist, Julie Mehretu, delivered in her ability to transport me directly to her studio and process.
Buchloh’s talk centered on the work of Gerhard Richter, specifically family portraits and the relationship between the subject and Richter’s attempt to capture reality. And Briony Fer’s discussion, “Where Are the Oculists Now? Abstraction’s Opacity” seemed to be a bridge between Buchloh and Mehretu’s insights into abstraction and its problems.
Mehretu began by speaking about the impulse to keep her practice within the boundaries of painting, drawing and mark making. She discussed the evolution of her work, both drawing and painting, and how the two have informed each other to create a new visual language. The intuitive and analytical, her two opposite processes, come together to make some stunning work — after looking at the images displayed, I understood what she meant when she stated that it took long periods of time to complete her pieces in order to get them to a state of something that is to be experienced.
If you’re interested in reading more from the speakers, I would recommend looking up the “paper abstracts” from the entire two day conference that The Sackler has put on their website:
The work up in the Kingston Gallery through February 24 — paintings by Sophia Ainslie, Stacey Alickman and Lynda Schlosberg — bring to mind the current interest and the many discussions inspired by Raphael Rubenstein’s seminal article which appeared in Art in America in 2009, “Provisional Painting”, and the superb show Paint Things: Beyond the Stretcher, curated by Dina Deitsch and Evan Garza now at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park.
Their work is part of this ongoing conversation about the way artists both pay homage to and challenge painting and its history, and the delight in that dichotomy — for both the practitioners and viewers as well. To see a painting of enormous scale inscribed on a wall, as is the case with Ainslie’s “In Person”, and to know that it is temporary, alerts the viewer to the challenge the artist presents — in questioning the value of the work and how one is to perceive it. Stacey Alickman literally takes the detritus of a work as she recycles oil paintings by peeling the paint off of its canvas and using the resulting paint-laden chips for other projects. Lynda Schlosberg’s work is characterized by a relationship between form and formlessness — even as the work is circumscribed by relatively conventional means, acrylic on panel, she is attempting to push against what might be expected from the materials themselves.